With an expected ex-showroom price of under Rs 5 lakh for the automatic, Maruti's new Celerio could be the cheapest automatic on sale in India. As we had reported earlier, Maruti Suzuki will introduce this car with an Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) in India. For all intents and purposes, it's like having a regular automatic, with similar controls. Under the skin an electronic control unit takes over the gear selection and the clutch of a regular manual gearbox, allowing the driver to shift gears automatically. The driver can intervene and change gears manually by tipping the gear lever, but there is no clutch. Maruti's has made sure that its new car is very spacious on the inside, as can be seen by the profile of the car, and it is likely to be powered by an improved version of the K10 petrol engine.
Our sources also tell us that the car will come with dual-tone interiors, steering mounted controls, and the higher variants could come with a double-DIN system with Bluetooth connectivity. Other manual versions of the car could start at as low as Rs 3.9 lakh, making it, potentially, yet another value-for-money Maruti.
Also, some Maruti dealers have supposedly started taking bookings (Rs 10,000, on average) with promises to deliver cars by the end of February.